Day 0 - home to Onawa
I left the house a little before 5am after what seemed like an hour of sleep (it was probably closer to four).
The drive was uneventful and thankfully only a little over two hours. I parked, and then discovered the truck that will take the bikes across the state was about a half mile away. I had already wrapped the bike in pipe insulation so it wasn’t rideable. That’s right... I started my weeklong bicycle ride carrying my bike :D
The bus driver was hilarious (as I typed this I hoped it was hilarity and not honesty ;) )- he welcomed me on the bus while explaining to someone already on the bus that he was at the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, and was on ten hours of sleep. Since Wednesday.
just crossed the halfway point across the state and stopped at Jimmy John’s, who despite a busload of customers at once, were still freaky fast. Bus driver is still awake.
Closing in on Onawa, about 10 miles away heading north on I-29. I’m looking to the east and there’s basically a miniature mountain range running parallel to us for the past 15 minutes. It doesn’t look like there’s a break in these, so without a doubt it’ll be up and over tomorrow. Hey, at least tomorrow is a short mileage day :)
Rest of the day
After checking in, I dragged my two giant bags to my assigned tent in tent city:
I’m like 30 rows back. After that it was time to find my bike. I apparently walked by it twice, because I spent 20 minutes watching them unload a truck only to discover it wasn’t still in there. So after 30 minutes total I finally found it.
After that it was time for a beer. This charter company is awesome. They give you one mug at the beginning. It’s your responsibility to keep track of it. If you do, they’ll fill it with coffee before the ride and beer after, until they run out. They went through 16 kegs today.
After that it was time to explore the town of Onawa, population 3000. I took a shuttle to where the action was, and found myself on the widest Main Street in America. there was live music, tons of food and drink (I had a pulled pork and coleslaw wrap). And probably a hundred vendors. And thousands of cyclists.
after that I shuttled back to camp, ate a second dinner :) pulled pork sandwich, Mac and cheese, baked beans, and corn on the cob, and enjoyed a blues band that consisted of four high schoolers. They were quite talented!
The weather is SO much better than the first time I did the tent thing on RAGBRAI - low 89s and more importantly low humidity
That will wrap up today’s post. When I get home and can sort pics better and have reliable internet, I’ll post a bunch more pics.
Alarm is set for 5am tomorrow. I’ll pack up and then start pedalng to the Mississippi!